Issue Date: April 9, 2012
Keeping Bisphenol A
The Food & Drug Administration has rejected a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging. The advocacy group filed the petition in October 2008, claiming that exposure to BPA can cause endocrine-disrupting health effects in humans.
FDA declined the petition because the studies NRDC provided to support its claims used inappropriate dosing methods, had inadequate sample sizes, or had other flaws.
“The best course of action at this time is to continue our review and study of emerging data on BPA,” David H. Dorsey, acting associate commissioner for policy and planning at FDA, wrote in a March 30 denial letter to NRDC. “FDA is performing, monitoring, and reviewing new studies and data as they become available, and depending on the results, any of these studies or data could influence FDA’s assessment and future regulatory decisions about BPA,” he stated.
BPA has been under intense scrutiny for many years because it mimics estrogen and has been linked to cancer and obesity in humans. Although government agencies around the world have declared BPA safe in food packaging, consumer pressure has led to a search for alternatives.
So far, however, most of the alternatives don’t have the performance characteristics of BPA-based epoxy resins, says John M. Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, an industry group.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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